Madelyn Victoria grew up in south Texas performing in public for the first time at age five. She continued performing and singing throughout her youth earning awards and recognition as one of the area’s top young performers. In 2007, Madelyn competed in the Modeling Association of America International Competition and Convention in New York, where she won the vocal competition, singing Sara Evans’ “Real Fine Place to Start.” That same year, she auditioned to perform with the Radio Disney Superstars of Dallas, was selected, and opened for boy band sensation, The Jonas Brothers. In 2014 she released her self-titled EP which saw its single “He Only Loves Me on the Dancefloor” reach #1 on the National Country AM/FM and New Music Weekly charts and win an April 2016 Akademia Award for Best Country Song. In advance of releasing new music in January, Ms. Victoria kindly called to chat about her roots, the single and more.
You began singing at age five and never looked back it seems. Was music something you always wanted to pursue?
The first time I was on stage was when I was five years old. My cousin asked me if I was willing to get on stage and sing in a high school Christmas play and I said yes. After that, my mom taught me the National Anthem and I started singing it at local events, rodeos, and ceremonies and I knew I would never be doing anything else - and I love it still just the way as I did it then.
In high school, you studied opera and mariachi, so what drew you to country music?
I live in South Texas and in our culture, we love all kinds of music, including country. Growing up, my family had music playing all the time. My mom loves bands like Led Zeppelin and the Eagles, as well as Tejano and Mariachi, while my dad loves country and disco. I love the truth and honesty in country music as well as how relatable it is.
You sing, write, and play guitar. Do you have any artists you look to for inspiration in any of those areas?
The Eagles are one of my biggest influences on my songwriting. In country music, I love George Strait and Johnny Cash. They remind me of my Dad and grandfather and ever since I was a little girl I relate and look up to them in that way.
“He Only Loves Me On The Dance Floor” is your current single. Can you tell the story behind the song?
I wrote that song about five years ago. I went up north to the dance halls and saw all these young people in relationships and thought about the story of a guy and girl who maybe shouldn’t be together, but can’t help fall for each other. It’s one of those things where they may not have seen one another all week, but Friday night the girl is getting ready to go out and knows the guy will be there. My friends and I go out and know this happens, plus it's so relatable both from sides - even a guy will say, ‘Oh man, she only loves me on dance floor and that’s it.’ I write my own story but other people can relate to it in their own way which is so cool and what songwriting is all about.
Do you have plans to release new music either a single, EP, or full-length album?
We plan to release a new single in January, which I’m excited and anxious about since it’s been a little while I put out new music. We’re going to release it all over Texas and the surrounding region and do a radio tour. I want to get the single out there and then we’ll see about an EP or album, although I definitely have enough music to record 2-3 more albums (laughing). Being an independent artist, everything is a challenge, but we’re getting through it. I see these little steps we’re doing as a slow and steady progression to where we want to be.
You have opened for Turnpike Troubadours, Kevin Fowler, Zac Brown Band, The Charlie Daniels Band, and more. Will you be touring for the remainder of the year?
We have a few shows in the San Antonio area coming up. I’m very excited to play there and get my music to more people. Next year I would love to be on an actual tour with a headliner. I’ve always booked my own shows all over and at different venues, but I’d love to go out with Eli Young Band, Turnpike Troubadours, Aaron Watson or Cody Johnson for half a year. Hopefully, this next single in January will make something like that possible.
Finally, as the year is winding down, is there one record that is your favorite from 2016?
Being so busy with my own career it’s hard to find the time to listen, but I’ve been liking Sam Outlaw’s Angeleno a lot. I love everything about it including how he uses California, western and mariachi in his music - it’s the coolest thing.
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